Former President Barack Obama recently emerged from vacationing on a remote island to speak publically in Chicago. We heard how he feels about windsurfing and mentoring young leaders, but we haven’t heard him say anything publically about the man who is now president. There is a prevalent question out there concerning what Obama thinks about President Donald Trump.
PEOPLE magazine is working on a cover story on the former president and his wife, Michelle. They want to know how they are adjusting to life outside of the White House. They spoke to friends of the Obamas, and they were given a quote that the former president said after an election night phone call with Trump.
“He’s nothing but a bullsh-ter,” Obama said regarding how Trump then professed “respect” and “admiration” for Obama after years of disrespect and disdain. The friends of Obama were asked if his opinion had changed since Trump has been in the Oval Office. “Well,” said one of the sources, “it hasn’t gotten any better.” A third source close to the Obamas told PEOPLE: “He’s deeply concerned with what he’s seen. But he’s also optimistic and heartened that citizens aren’t just watching it happen but engaging with neighbors and elected representatives at town halls.”
Obama’s colorful language describing Trump shouldn’t be a surprise to any of us. During the campaign, these were the words Obama used about Trump: “unfit,” “woefully unprepared” and “unacceptable.” But since the election, Obama has kept the unwritten code of conduct among ex-presidents which prevents them from criticizing the current commander-in-chief. “He’s very respectful of the appropriate role of a former president and that ex-presidents should not be looking over the shoulder of their successors and commenting on every decision,” says David Axelrod, Obama’s long-time friend, and strategist.
What about the former first lady? She too has kept a tight lip since the election even though she campaigned vigorously against Trump last Fall. She has not publically shared what she thinks, but privately she joked to friends about needing “mourning attire” that she said she would call “the black series.” She joked further, “I’m going all black for the next couple of years.”
What do you think about how the Obamas have handled themselves since leaving the White House?